Michael Austin Stackpole is an American science fiction and fantasy author and a designer of various computer and role playing games, best known for his Star Wars and BattleTech books.
Michael was born in Wausau, Wisconsin (November 27, 1957), but raised in Vermont. He graduated from Rice Memorial High School in 1975 and in 1979 – from the University of Vermont with a BA in History.
Since 1977 Stackpole began designing games and worked in different companies. First he was hired full-time at Flying Buffalo (wrote adventures for the Tunnels & Trolls role-playing system), wrote columns on industry news and reviews for Flying Buffalo’s magazine Sorcerer’s Apprentice. In 80-s he worked in Coleco and Interplay. His work at Interplay included Bard’s Tale III, Wasteland, Neuromancer, Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. He also created the role-playing game Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes, which provided the game mechanics for Wasteland. He later returned to work with his fellow creators of Wasteland as a writer on its sequel Wasteland 2, released in 2014 by inXile Entertainment.
In 1987 he began writing novels set in the BattleTech universe for FASA Corporation, some of which were used as the source for a television animated series (the BattleTech cartoon (1994) was set during the events of the trilogy «Blood of Kerensky»). Then, in 90-s he created novels in the Star Wars universe for Bantam Books (the most popular are the X-Wing series). Stackpole also wrote several comics based in the Star Wars universe for Dark Horse Comics.
He successfully works both in serials with the other authors and over his own plots (for example Dark Conspiracy or DragonCrown War).
Michael Stackpole is the author of The Letters – online newsletter and podcast which offer tips, tricks and tidbits about fiction writing. Topics discussed in the newsletter range from how to beat writer’s block to how to build a world, and how to manage writing as a career.
Image by Michael C. Pearo